Mar 30, 2013
Mar 27, 2013
Jan 12, 2013
Dec 9, 2012
Dec 5, 2012
Apr 18, 2012
Well that's it ............. after 3 days struggle I have given up on this idea!!!! Did not matter what I tried nothing seemed right, and the painting just would not come together.
I have just finished wheeling the roller and covering it all with gesso.
So once again there is a pristine white canvas, 36" x 48", staring reproachfully at me from my easel !!!!!!!!!!!
Ah me, it's back to the drawing board ............................
Apr 17, 2012
Apr 16, 2012
A lovely fresh white canvas has been sat on my easel for a week while I procrastinated over getting started ....................... well, now I have!
Apr 9, 2012
Oct 3, 2011
Sep 25, 2010
I feel that I want to branch out and experiment, that I should 'move on' from representational renderings to something a bit more original and expressive. Although I don't think my paintings are exactly 'photographic', to my mind they don't show much imagination or originality.
Imagination and original ideas do not come easily and I often wonder if such things are innate or if one can cultivate them through trial and error! Two books that fill me with hope for better things, if I can only keep on trying, are:
The Creative Artist by Nita Leland and The New Spirit of Watercolor by Mike Ward and I find both wonderful sources of information and inspiration, and surely as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. The first version of Nita's book came into print in 1990, and she launched a further book The New Creative Artist in 2006 (this one I have yet to get hold of).
Both Nita's and Mike's books (which I have written about on this blog before) are filled with ideas and advice, and are illustrated with examples of work by many exciting contemporary artists. However, I have to say that looking at paintings produced by others can not only inspire but can sometimes lead to feelings of despondency!! But I suppose its all about experimentation and, should one fall down, having the courage to pick oneself up and having another try ...........
Some of my problem lies in 'artistic constipation' ..... i.e. I have great difficulty moving out of my rather rule-bound mind-set. By this I mean that I tend to get so caught up in the process of producing a recognisable image that all spontaneity and/or imaginative interpretation tends to gets lost. I must also admit to other artistically stultifying traits such as 'fear of failure' and a certain miserliness with paint and materials!
However, there have been occasions when I have managed to produce something which I felt was a bit 'different' and more creative than usual. So I am really pleased that a recent 'abstract' painting of mine has been selected for the Anderson Park Spring Exhibition in Invercargill, while a more realistic painting 'The Red Shoes' entered at the same time was not selected. The successful painting was originally called 'Hear us, See us' but I have renamed it for this exhibition, and now feel encouraged to try my wings at something new!
Anderson Park Gallery Inc.
3rd October - 25th October
Apr 3, 2008
Two of my paintings sold last month after quite a dry spell - one an abstract, the other impressionistic in style. "Rhythms" sold at The Art Station, Dunedin and "Shell Seeker" sold at a fund raising auction in aid of the Port Chalmers Rowing Club.
12 x 12 ins
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 8 ins
Jan 19, 2008
Acrylic collage (12 x 12 ins)
Oct 29, 2007
As Queenstown is over 3 hours drive away I decided that this year I would not take and collect works in person but send them via courier. However, using a courier service for large paintings can be a bit costly (e.g. sending two 36" x 24" canvases to Auckland recently cost $112 return) so I decided that smaller canvases were the sensible way to go, particularly while sales are so few and far between. Wish me luck!
Sep 24, 2007
Basically this involves dropping colours randomly onto a wet ground, then allowing them to mix and mingle by tilting the support this way and that. When this initial layer is dry there follows a stage of contemplation, - viewing the painting from all angles and allowing it to 'speak' to you. How does it make you feel? What can you see? What are the important shape? Once you have made some decisions it's time to start developing different areas of the painting, eliminating distractions and accentuating your important elements. This is done with overpainting and glazing.
Sound simple? Well, think again! Even the initial stage is difficult .... its not easy to mingle wet colours without creating mud! Paint has to be the right consistency, the support must be receptive to this way of working, not to mention the difficulties of keeping ones application of colour and brushstrokes completely 'random'.
Ed was demonstrating with watercolour on paper but around half the class were working in acrylics. I attempted something on 3 different types of support. The first was a small Reeves 'oil painting board' (9" x 12") - the paint would not flow around very well unless extremely diluted and the area of the painting was far too small. Next someone in the class offered me a sheet from her 'canvas pad for oils or acrylics' .... this was a big improvement over the oil board and is what I used for 'Girl at the Bar'.
Mulling things over that first evening I decided that perhaps acrylics might work well on watercolour paper and this is what I used on the second day for 'Night and Day'. However, I found it impossible to get that richness of hue found with watercolour because the paint had to be diluted a great deal for it to flow across the paper, but possibly this was due to my technique. Those artists using watercolour got deeper hues but were a little disturbed at the amount of paint that they used up! Interestingly enough, my colours came out far richer on the sheet of oil paper than on either the board or the Bockingford paper - so I will have to try out other supports and mixes before I can really decide what gives the best results with acrylics. But I definitely think that watercolour on heavy paper has the edge.
Ed Labadie is a good tutor - full of good humour, anecdotes and willing to share all his 'tips and tricks'. He was also quick to point out that his method for painting abstracts has taken him about 20 years to develop ... so it is hardly surprising that we were unable to master it in just two days!
Many of the artists attending the workshop started several paintings over the two days .... some as many as eight, but only a few got anything to a 'finished' stage. I felt like throwing in the towel more than once but was determined not to give in and persevered with different techniques and ideas, even resorting to cutting off some of the edges to try and to improve it.
I am surprised at how good it looks in the photograph ..... so it may get a stay of execution!
Sep 22, 2007
And now something completely different to my usual! .... done today at the workshop with Ed Labadie. I have cropped this a little to improve the balance of the composition, but I am quite pleased with it on the whole. Pity it was done in a class - this means it will not be possible to enter it into the majority of exhibitions.